TRAVEL

The Summit At Snoqualmie: A Huffington Post Travel Ski Resort Guide

01/06/2012 04:04 pm ET

The Summit at Snoqualmie in Washington is a popular destination for skiers and snowboarders. As part of a series on ski resorts, Huffington Post Travel offers our guide to Snoqualmie, featuring all the key information snow lovers need to know before they hit the slopes.

The Basics

Originally four separate resorts in the Cascade Mountains, the ski resorts combined under one ownership umbrella in 1997 and became the Summit at Snoqualmie. The resort is the closest one to Seattle, 51 miles away from downtown and 58 miles from Sea-Tac Airport. Snoqualmiet is easy to access since it's just off of Interstate 90 at Snoqualmie Pass. With four different mountains and base areas to choose from, skiers and boarders of all skill levels are sure to find slopes to suit them.

The Mountain

Snoqualmie's four peaks are Alpental, Summit West, Summit Central and Summit East. The highest of these is Alpental at 5,420 feet, with a vertical drop of 2,280 feet. Alpental sits on the north side of Interstate 90, while the other three mountain areas are connected by trails and lifts on the south side of the Interstate. A free shuttle bus service connects all four base areas. Alpental is where expert skiers make tracks, while the shorter and less steep slopes of the other three summits are more suitable for beginner and intermediate skiers. The top-to-bottom terrain park at Summit Central is the go-to spot for snowboarders.

Trails And Lifts

Snoqualmie's 1,981 acres of skiable terrain are serviced by a total of 25 lifts, including three high-speed quads: one at Alpental and two at Summit Central. The longest trail is Alpental's International at 1.17 miles. Many trails, and the terrain park, are illuminated until 10 p.m. six nights a week, with Summit West receiving the rare treat of freshly groomed slopes at 4 p.m. from Wednesday through Friday. Nordic skiers will find 31 miles of trail at their disposal, and alpine skiers have 523 acres of backcountry to explore at Alpental.

In The News

Olympic gold medalist Debbie Armstrong grew up skiing at Alpental. The winner of the Grand Slalom event at the 1984 Sarajevo games has a trail -- Debbie's Gold -- and a high-speed chair lift named in her honor at the resort. Advanced skiers seeking to gain racing experience on the same slopes where a champion once made tracks can enroll in the eight-week Alpental Masters program. The Pacific Northwest Ski Association hosts racing events at Snoqualmie each year, including the Kickoff Classic and the Over the Hill slalom event.

Cost

A regular full-day lift ticket costs $59 for adults, $40 for children ages 7 to 12 or seniors ages 62 to 69, and $12 for kids 6 and younger or seniors 70 and older. Night skiing prices take effect between 4 and 10 p.m. and cost $39, $34 and $12, respectively. For the truly hardcore who want to ski all day and all night, Snoqulamie offers its "Epic" option for $63, $44 and $12. A number of season pass options are available across all age groups that range in price from $79 to $999.

Apres-Ski

All of Snoqualmie's base areas except Summit East have bars and restaurants open into the evening hours for apres-ski relaxation. Timberwolf Bar and Grill at Summit West has live music on the weekends. Beirstube at Summit Central is open to everyone during the day but switches to adults-only on Friday and Saturday nights. Ski magazine recommends the Backcountry Bar at Alpental as a good place to hoist a pint of beer after a long day on the slopes, or dinner at the North Bend Bar & Grill, a 20-minute drive west on Interstate 90.

WATCH: The Summit At Snoqualmie



Learn more about the Summit at Snoqualmie resort and its four mountains for skiing and snowboarding.

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